Blackmore's Night
All Our Yesterdays


2.5
average

Review

by manosg EMERITUS
September 21st, 2015 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where do you go from here, Ritchie? Really.

Moody, perfectionist, innovator, demanding, leader and control freak. These are only a few traits that have been attributed to Ritchie Blackmore throughout his career. Even more interestingly, from all the legendary artists he has cooperated with, Candice Night is the one who has lasted the longest. And even though the man-in-black’s decision to abandon the realm of rock more than 18 years ago has still left a bitter taste in some of his loyal fans’ mouths, there’s no denying that there is quality in the folk/renaissance duo’s work.

Nevertheless, the aforementioned quality can be found mostly on their early releases and unfortunately All Our Yesterdays is not an exception. To begin with, the album follows the pattern of shorter time and fewer tracks that began on 2008’s Secret Voyage. While this is positive, the fact that 5 out of the 12 tracks are covers, highlights the band’s major issue; limited inspiration. Blackmore’s Night has always included covers of traditional songs on its albums and even modern adaptations of classic rock songs like “Child in Time” or “Self Portrait”, for example. However, they always added something to the original, in terms of arrangement or simply their own interpretation of the song. On their latest release, the band’s decision to place three of the covers in a row is weird by itself but even more discouraging is the selection of tracks combined with the fact that Blackmore and Co. adds absolutely nothing substantial to them, apart from a couple of tasteful guitar licks. “I Got You Babe” is even cornier than the original, “Moonlight Shadow” is fine but doesn’t deviate from the original, while “Long Long Time” at least explains the slight change in Candice Night’s voice. From the very first track, the Russian heritage influenced “All Our Yesterdays”, one can listen that the female vocalist sounds raspier on the high notes as if she utilizes a country rock approach rather than the delicate/romantic one she used in the past.

What is more, one of the band’s strong points has always been their instrumentals. Out of the three of them, the oddly titled “Darker Shade of Black” (opposed to “A Whiter Shade of Pale”) is the most interesting. Even though it sounds a bit flat for the first 3:20 minutes, the introduction of harpsichord and Blackmore’s performance make it one of the standouts of the album. In addition, the traditional “Allan Yn n Fan” brings to mind Fairport Convention while the melancholic “Queen’s Lament” is a nice track but slightly incomplete.

Hopefully, all is not lost because the second half of the album is much improved. “The Other Side” and “Will O’ the Wisp” are both prime examples of the songs that made Blackmore’s Night popular among their fans. Renaissance inspired folk with meticulous instrumentation and attractive guitar playing. In addition, “Earth, Wind and Sky” is a medieval influenced delicate ballad that would have benefitted if Candice had sung in a slightly higher register. However, “Where Are We Going from Here” is the album in a nutshell; an upbeat cover version of their 2003 song from Ghost of a Rose. Even though it’s not a bad track by any means, the original had more of a substance as its charm was due to its melancholic nature combined with a much better vocal performance by Night.

Overall, All Our Yesterdays is not a poor experience. It’s upbeat with careful arrangements and generally an easy listen. But “easy listening” is not what we’ve come to expect from Ritchie Blackmore; the fact that the maestro is 70 years old certainly plays a role. But his desire to release new material every 2-3 years has finally caught up with him for good. From guitar hero, he turned into an awesome folk guitarist overnight because he’s that good compared to the standard. However, the duo’s last release is disappointing not only because it lacks fresh ideas but because Blackmore’s playing isn’t that interesting anymore. One might wonder, if he did put any effort or if the band is on auto pilot these days…



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user ratings (14)
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not a huge surprise this turned out as it did, I guess.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2015


10634 Comments


Heard first 3 tracks from this, your summary is really spot on.

Gonna read the review when I get home.

SharkTooth
September 21st 2015


14917 Comments


Good review, judging from this I think it's in everyone's best interests that Ritchie finally retire, it seems that the guy has done everything he could possibly want to do by now

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks guys.



Yeah, I really don't know what the future holds for Ritchie. Candice has her own solo career and Blackmore's input on this album is very limited compared with past ones. And he's about to give those live shows on June 2016 with Rainbow/Purple songs. It feels that the end is near but I really hope he releases one strong album before he retires.

deslad
September 21st 2015


645 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really great review man. However, I feel a bit disappointed since I was really looking forward to this album as a huge Blackmore's Night fan. I'll listen to it possibly during the next few days.

LepreCon
September 21st 2015


5481 Comments


Always thought Blackmore was a bit overrated but his work with Ian Gillan-fronted Deep Purple and Dio-fronted Rainbow was stellar. This project was always shite though.

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks des! Knowing your love for the band, you'll probably like it considerably more than me. But bear in mind that their earlier work is much better than this one.



Lep, always thought Blackmore was under appreciated haha. He was much more innovative than Page and more well-rounded than Iommi imo. His 1970-78 is impressive.

LepreCon
September 21st 2015


5481 Comments


Haha oh well, to each his own, man! I always thought he was more influential than good, and Page and Iommi being even more so on both counts. But I agree 70's Blackmore is very important.

Sabrutin
September 21st 2015


9541 Comments


When this popped up on a site I frequent I knew you were going to review it. Great job, the situation doesn't seem too bright.

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Sab. Blackmore milked that cow to death by releasing a new album every two years. Even younger guys can't do that. I just hope this is not his final release.

Tunaboy45
September 21st 2015


18385 Comments


Great review as always man, sounds like just some middle of the road folk rock.

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Tuna. That's pretty spot on, there's much better folk out there.

Sabrutin
September 21st 2015


9541 Comments


I have to say I enjoyed the single Will O’ the Wisp, but that may be due to Candice's smile in the video.

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Will O’ the Wisp" is actually one of my favorite tracks from here along with "The Other Side", "Earth, Wind and Sky" and “Darker Shade of Black”. They're pretty characteristic of the band compared to some poppy crap on this album.

MrSirLordGentleman
September 21st 2015


15343 Comments


Great review manos!

Even when I (just like everyone) prefer Blackmore's old work, his music with Blackmore's Night has always been very pleasent to me however it seems like there's nothing truly special in here

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks, Lord.



For me, the band stopped being special after Fires at Midnight but I still enjoy their work up to The Village Lantern. The thing is Blackmore prioritized quantity over quality I think so this was bound to happen at some point.

danielcardoso
September 21st 2015


11770 Comments


What is more, one of the band’s strong points has always been their instrumentals.

"What is more" reads a bit strangely for me in the beginning of the sentence, it could be just me but a second look at it wouldn't hurt I guess.

But his desire to release new material every 2-3 year has finally caught up with him for good.

Check Buckethead, ahah. Also, "year" should be in plural.


Great review, bud. The little I've heard from the band's other stuff is beyond boring to me so I won't be hearing it anytime soon.

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2015


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm sure by now that Buckethead is not human haha. But I'm sure his material will suffer from releasing a new album every other day; it has to!



Also, thanks for the corrections. I think what is more is an acceptable way to begin a sentence but if it seems wrong to any other guys too, I'll change it.

danielcardoso
September 21st 2015


11770 Comments


Oh of course, most of the stuff from the guy that I've heard is more miss than hit. But it's sure nice to hear him and try to keep track of him because he pulls off some interesting stuff once in a while.

TheIntruder
September 21st 2015


742 Comments


I know very few things of Blackmore's Night. All Our Yesterdays, I don't know the album yet, seems to be a weak album. It's a pity. Ritchie always was a great guitarist and I always loved him. When I have sometime I will check it. Anyway, nice review.



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